There cannot be a bigger irony than the fact that Manmohan Singh, who heralded a new economy in the capacity of the Finance Minister in the 1990s, has been unable to steer the country’s economy ahead despite sitting on a bigger chair of the Prime Minister. The consequences of the PM’s failure are out in the open with Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) reflecting that inflation and various economic-political reasons are responsible for the declining GDP. Refuting the PMEAC’s conclusion holds no meaning as economic experts across the world share a similar view. Moreover, they are unitedly of the opinion that the time is ripe for the commencement of the second phase of economic reforms in India and delaying the same would mean diversion from the objective to achieve economic growth. Lamentably, the Central government has shown no signs of trekking on the advice of economic experts. The truth is that the Centre has failed to pay attention to economic decline. Whether it is the Prime Minister or the Finance Minister, or Ministers related to the Finance Ministry, all are busy shielding their own image. The ongoing chain of events points towards the government’s attitude to just complete its term in office. Albeit the Prime Minister has been stressing on the need for economic reforms, he has done nothing so far to turn his words into actions. The Finance Minister shares a similar ambiguity. More than financial matters, he is embroiled in non-financial issues. The responsibility of the committees and the Group of Ministers (GoMs) formed by the Central government to deal with various issues finally gets laid on the shoulders of the Finance Minister.
If the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister do not step towards economic reforms then expecting other Ministers to do the same would be futile. It is understood that even the bureaucracy has developed a sluggish attitude when it comes to solving pending cases and implementing rules. There can be dissonance on the fact that the lethargic attitude of the Centre towards economic reforms is the repercussion of the various scams and scandals being unearthed daily but there can be no debate on the verity of the lack of political will-power being the reason behind the logjam in economic reforms. Another insurmountable problem is the refusal of the Congress to identify the importance of economic reforms. The party has not even attempted to take tiny steps to create an amicable atmosphere to favour reforms in the economic sphere. If the present scenario persists for long, the Central government might soon be found wandering on social and political matters along with financial issues. Besides adopting a vindicatory stance, the Central government can be seen curling up in its own cover. The policy makers of the Central government cannot be unaware of the fact that India has been gradually sending signals to the world community that the country is unable to work as per its priority on the economic front. Therefore, the Central government will have to include economic reforms at top in the priority list before negative feedback veils its image on world arena.